The National Museum of Scotland – Tour 1

The National Museum of Scotland is a vast treasure chest, literally, in some cases, standing in all its glory adjacent to Greyfriars Bobby and is a must-see for any visitor to the City.  For someone who calls this City their home its also worth a regular pop-in as there is always something new or interesting to see.

However, for the first time ever I attended one of the guided tours of the Museum.  There are three taking place every day, and the 11am tour focusses on a general overview of the museum, what you can see, and brings some of the more prosaic exhibits that you may have just walked on by unaided, totally to life.  Its like a compilation of the museums greatest hits, fitted into a neat hours tour. And best of all, it’s completely free.

You meet your tour guide at the allotted hour and he was an affable and enthusiastic curator of the items we are going to visit throughout the Museum.  And yet, within the opening seconds, I’ve already found something out: Who knew that the very floor I had stepped over so many times is actually created from tiles that were littered with replicas of fossils originally kept intact in the sandstone when it was cut into tiles and placed in the museum?  Many little nuggets of information are stored into the memory bank for another day.

Onwards we went throughout the whistle-stop tour of the Museum.  We saw Scottish made flying machines, we saw the beginnings of the Hire Purchase scheme thanks to its introduction of it by the Singer sewing machine company and the explosion of such machines thanks to the prolific factory opened in Dunbartonshire.  We saw animal displays both old and new with the fine dinosaur and stuffed animal displays. The antique model of the solar system in the astronomy section is fascinating and the newest exhibition of fashion clothing has some interesting examples.

I’ve only scratched the surface about what we visited but even in that small paragraph above there is something for everyone, the tour helps you find out more than just what’s on display.  I’d recommend it to even the most regular visitor to the museum.

National Museum of Scotland –

Steve Heald

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